WESTERN CAPE NEWS - The Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, said in a press release this morning that his department welcomes the confirmation by the Presidency of South Africa on Twitter last night, 10 July, that accommodation for leisure is now open for travel within provinces under Alert Level 3.
It means that families who live in the province can now spend a weekend away at their favourite getaway spot, and enjoy the best that the Western Cape has to offer, while doing so safely and responsibly.
This follows weeks of confusion after the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane stated at a press conference that “accommodation for leisure is not yet allowed”.
Maynier’s department, together with industry bodies such as the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and Southern African Tourism Services Association (Satsa), had repeatedly called for clarity on the matter, as the amended Alert Level 3 regulations clearly indicated that licensed and accredited accommodation establishments are allowed to operate for intra-provincial (within province) travel.
Last night’s announcement also means travel and accommodation is no longer restricted to business travellers or persons requiring quarantine and isolation, but that travel for leisure purposes within the province is also permitted.
Maynier said they firmly believe that there are further aspects of the sector that can open safely under Alert Level 3, such as parks, beaches and other open-air and outdoor tourism attractions. “We will continue to engage actively with Minister Kubayi-Ngubane on this matter,” he added.
According to Maynier the opening of the economy in the Western Cape is critical to saving jobs and businesses. “So I have no doubt that the clarity now provided on the opening of accommodation for leisure will be well-received by the tourism industry as it has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis.”
The tourism sector has already done a great deal of work to develop health and safety guidelines and protocols aimed at “de-risking” the sector.
“We will work hard to support tourism businesses in the Western Cape to implement and enforce these safety measures so that we can reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the Western Cape,” Maynier confirmed.
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